Mexico’s President Shines Light on Use of U.S. Weapons by Drug Cartels

Saturday, March 07, 2009
Felipe Calderón, President of Mexico

In an interview with Le Monde, Mexico’s president, Felipe Calderón, defends his government’s U.S.-supported war against drug cartels, which took the lives of more than 6,000 people last year. However, Calderón also believes that Americans, and President George W. Bush in particular, bear some of the responsibility for the deaths. In October 2004, Bush allowed the 10-year ban on the sale of assault weapons to lapse. This was great news for the Mexican drug cartels, which were able to dramatically upgrade their arsenals. According to Calderón, “In two years, we've seized 33,000 weapons, 18,000 of them high caliber, rocket launchers, thousands of grenades, devices able to pierce armor plating. Now the overwhelming majority of this materiel had been purchased in the United States, including materiel which is the exclusive property of the American Army.” Calderón also blames much of the violence on a change of marketing strategy on the part of the cartels. Previously satisfied with smuggling drugs into the United States, the cartels expanded their market throughout Mexico itself, setting off a series of deadly turf wars.

The “American Consumer” Is Responsible for Narcotrafficking (by Jean-Pierre Langeliier and Joëlle Stolz, Le Monde)


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